I like to think of Fabio Quaglirella as a player who tries to emulate how you sometimes feel like playing a game on FIFA14. He does things that most people would only try when they're playing in manager mode or trying to beat some 12-year-old sitting in the living room online.
Let's just say having creativity and thinking off the cuff when Quagliarella attempts a shot on goal is something he definitely does not lack.
Take his shot that led to Paul Pogba's goal in Juventus' 1-0 win over Parma on Saturday night at the Tardini as a prime example of just how unorthodox Quagliarella can be any time he think it's a goal-scoring opportunity. It wasn't anything close to textbook. Well, it's "textbook" in the mind of Quagliarella, where normal shots probably trying to chip the keeper from 40 yards out.
That was Quaglirella's first touch after coming on as a substitute for Carlos Tevez in the 76th minute. He hadn't even been on the field for 60 seconds and his attempt on goal basically says something along the lines of "Eh, screw it. Let's let it fly, man." Maybe he saw something Parma keeper Antonio Mirante had been doing throughout the game when it comes to being off his line a little more than he should and Quagliarella saw it while he was on the bench, I don't know.
But the end result, which was incredibly impressive enough with Quagliarella's shot hitting the crossbar, was the game-changing moment that Juve needed in an otherwise lackluster game that was on the border of turning into one of those classic shoulda-coulda-woulda games.
No style points to see here. But Juventus got three points. And like pretty much every game, that's what matters most.
Random thoughts and observations
- If you were working on not very much sleep like I was while watching Juve-Parma, it wasn't best thing in the world to help keep you awake. It was a boring, drab game that really didn't feature anything more than a couple of exciting moments in 90-plus minutes. There were 19 total shots between the two teams, six of which actually were on goal. For comparison's sake, Juve had 22 shots total against Catania on Wednesday night. Yeah, this one was definitely not one that kept you on the edge of your seat. Well, if you weren't on the edge of your seat for the sole purpose of staying awake, that is.
- Three clean sheets in a row. Say what you want about the overall performance, but having a zero next to the opponent's name is something we've become quite accustomed to during Antonio Conte's tenure as manager. That's more like it.
- If Angelo Ogbonna can ever figure out how to settle down right at the beginning of rather than doing stupid back passes to Gigi Buffon with little room for error, he'll be a pretty solid defender. Who knows how much of these dicey moments he's had have to do with him not playing much this season, but it'd be nice if I didn't have to ask these kinds of things three minutes into a game. Just a suggestion.
- Andrea Barzagli is just amazing sometimes. And to be honest, it's probably the least flashy kind of amazing you will ever see out of a player. It's just quiet, unassuming brilliance. Whenever somebody talks about a bargain on the transfer market, your response should be two simple words: Andrea Barzagli." That's it.
- Carlos Tevez had a relatively quiet game in a Juventus jersey. No, really, it's possible, guys. Better now than, say, the next time Juventus takes the field.
- This is your semi-regular reminder that Paul Pogba is still 20 years old. You're welcome.
- On night where a lot of players had sub-par games, Claudio Marchisio is one of the first names on the list. Maybe it was just one of those games where he's completely invisible. All I know is that he wasn't good at all. The decision by Conte to replace Marchisio with Andrea Pirlo was the right one. Juve needed a spark and Marchisio was far from providing one.
- Can we talk about Tuesday's game now? Yeah, I think we can. Real Madrid arrives in Turin in less than 48 hours. Let the fun (hopefully) begin.